S&C is proud to share Portsmouth City Council’s Stories from the City project, which aims to ‘celebrate the people behind Portsmouth’s vibrant voluntary and community sector – one story at a time.’
Duncan Paterson, Non-Executive Trustee, PARCS
‘I came to volunteer at PARCS (Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service) as a Non-Executive Trustee 7 years ago. Kim Hosier (Centre Director) was looking for a trustee who could help out with accounting and governance and my wife, who trained in Psychotherapy with Kim, volunteered me.
‘My role sees me working in the areas of finance, strategy and governance at PARCS. Reluctantly my career started as a chartered accountant back in 1969. I’ve largely worked in the finance sector focussing on consultancy, finance and IT, including many international assignments. I have also run a number of international consortia, which is good practice in herding cats. As a young man I was a lecturer at London School of Economics and Political Science, which I loved, and subsequently became a visiting lecturer up until 2003. I still do the odd bit of consultancy and also act as a non-executive director, including being a Member of the Supervisory Board for the Moscow Stock Exchange.
‘When I was first introduced to the role at PARCS I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have found it extremely heartrending. I can’t believe how many suffer at the hands of others and how as a society we fail to deal with it. Organisations such as PARCS are crucial in this context but we all wish we didn’t need to exist. I am continuously amazed by our staff and volunteers and how dedicated they are in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. And we should never forget the resilience, tenacity and strength of our service users in the face of such horrible situations.
‘Of the many challenging assignments I have carried over the years, PARCS rates as one of the most important due to the positive impact PARCS has on the community, both in terms of counselling but also prevention.
Photo credit: Matt Scott-Joynt.